The port authorities of Antwerp, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre and Bremen/Bremerhaven have voiced their support of the North sea and the Baltic countries’ submissions to designate the North Sea and the Baltic Sea as Nitrogen Emission Control Areas (NECA) by 2021.
European Ports are experiencing pressure to reduce their environmental footprint. Ports that accommodate important industrial clusters and are located in the vicinity of residential areas and/or Natura 2000 sites in particular are urged to reduce their emissions in order to maintain their license to operate.
With the submission to designate the North Sea and Baltic Sea as a NECA “there is a huge opportunity to further decrease the harmful impact on the environment,” according to the Port of Rotterdam.
The shipping industry is responsible for an increasing share of nitrogen-oxide emissions which contribute to nitrogen depositions in protected Natura 2000 sites and to NOx-concentration levels in residential areas.
Whereas significant advances have been made to curb nitrogen emissions from land-based sources, the shipping industry has despite some first initiatives not yet been able to achieve the same results.
“We therefore call upon the Maritime Environmental Protection Committee members to support these submissions during their 70th Session to be held on the 24-28th October 2016 in London,” the Port of Rotterdam said.